Dental implants are an alternative to dentures and bridges for replacing missing teeth. Unlike dentures and bridges that rest on top of the gum, implants use a metal post that acts as an artificial root, anchoring the prosthetic tooth to the jaw bone just like a natural tooth for a fit that's more secure and feels more natural. Dental implants may also be used in combination with dentures to replace multiple teeth at once, serving as a strong support and anchor for the denture itself. The post is made of a medical-grade metal called titanium, which has been used for many years in joint replacements and other medical applications. The artificial tooth attaches to the post via a special piece called an abutment. The tooth can be tinted and shaped, so it blends in perfectly with the surrounding teeth.
Most people prefer dental implants because they offer a more secure attachment compared to dentures or bridges so patients feel more confident and more comfortable while speaking, eating and performing other activities. Plus, because they're anchored into the jaw bone, dental implants stimulate the re-growth and replacement of old bone tissue to maintain normal bone mass, helping to keep the roots of neighboring teeth properly supported. Dentures and bridges rest on top of the gums and provide no bone stimulation, enabling the jaw bone to atrophy and tooth roots to weaken over time.
Receiving dental implants requires multiple office visits spaced out over several months. During the first visit, X-rays are taken, and impressions are made which will serve as the “mold” for your implant. If the X-ray reveals there is not enough bone to support the implant, a bone graft may be performed to supplement the natural bone and “thicken” it. The post will also be implanted at this visit in most cases, and then several weeks will elapse before the next visit, providing the implant with ample time to fuse with the natural bone tissue. At the next visit, the abutment piece will be attached to the post. Finally, the artificial tooth is created and attached to the abutment. The fitting process can take several visits to complete to ensure the best possible fit.
At our San Francisco dental office, we are committed to helping our patients afford high-quality dental care. We are in network with Delta Dental Premier dental insurance and CIGNA PPO; we welcome you to contact us to learn more about dental insurance benefits. We also accept the following forms of payment:
CareCredit, a third-party financing company, provides no- and low-interest payment plans. For more information on our financial options, we invite you to contact our dental office today. Our friendly dental team is happy to answer your questions!
"I've been a patient here for well over 20 years & I can't imagine having my dental care performed anywhere else. You could not be in better hands."
"Outstanding service. Very professional operation & they treat patients very well. The office is beautiful and the dentists and staff are extremely competent and caring."
"I had my teeth cleaned by Stephanie, as usual. She does an excellent job, both thorough as well as comfortable. She's a really nice person too!"
"As always, Dr. Potesta-Knoll's office was friendly, efficient and one of the best dentist offices in San Francisco."
"Stephanie & Dr. Podesta were great as usual as were Erika & Ada. Always a professional & pleasant experience as going to the dentist can be."
"Dr. Potesta, Karen, Sue, Bella, and the rest of the staff are excellent, thorough, and friendly. Great atmosphere, and they always treat me like a VIP!"
"Had my 3 wisdom teeth removed and let me tell you my experience was great as a first timer here. Very friendly staff with such great service with an amazing view..."
"Well versed in major treatments. Very good in her diagnosis and follow through. Excellent background in various dental procedures."
"Amazing expertise and service! I needed help with a chipped tooth and felt like a new person after leaving. So happy with my experience."
"Dr Potesta-Knoll knows what she is doing. I did not feel anything more than a pinch. Her staff is wonderful and helpful."
Friendly reception, Thorough yet relaxing cleaning, and efficient dealing with dental issues!
Dr. Potesta-Knoll was wonderfully responsive to my dental problem during a long holiday weekend. Outstanding service as usual!
She always welcomes me by name and has a friendly comment or two about life, so that the visit has a personal touch, not just professional services.